Yesterday was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. A Day that many women will remember the babies they didn’t get to meet or the ones they only held for a short while. These women will remember their lost children many other days out of the year, if not every day. The loss of a baby no matter how old is devastating and heartbreaking. Jessalyn Hutto has written a book called An Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb. She has shared some of her wisdom on The Gospel Coalition with an article titled The Baby Given to Women Who Miscarry.
As Hutto explains, there is nothing simple about the grief and pain that comes from losing a baby. What kind of reasoning and comfort can you give a mother who is suffering? Hutto says that empathy is not enough, what she will need is “genuine hope for her future, and a biblical explanation for her pain.” Hutto knows this from experience,
“Twice now, I’ve been her. I’ve been the one sitting in a doctor’s office staring at grainy black-and-white images of my dead baby, tears pouring down my cheeks. Twice now, as the cold news of an absent heartbeat met my ears, I’ve been plunged into the deep, wrenching grief reserved for mothers who’ve lost an unborn child. The sting of death is in no way lessened by the invisible nature of such loss. It is real, and it is horrible.”
“Yet the truth of the gospel has provided immeasurable comfort to me in the midst of such pain. So when my friend posed that question—that crucial question—my heart leapt at the opportunity to point her wounded soul to the comforting, joy-inducing reality of Jesus Christ. Because his gospel truly is everything to a woman who has miscarried.”
Understanding the Curse
To understand how the gospel relates to miscarriage, we have to start at the beginning…the very beginning. Hutto expounds, when Adam and Eve chose to rebel against their Creator it “was there that death first entered into humanity’s collective experience (Rom. 5:11), and it was there that miscarriage became a possibility.” According to Hutto this means,
“When a woman experiences a miscarriage, then, she isn’t simply suffering a random “pregnancy loss.” She’s experiencing, in stark reality, the extreme depths of our fallenness as a human race. She’s partaking bitterly of the inheritance purchased for us by our first parents; she’s experiencing the horrid wages of sin, which is death (Rom. 6:23).”
When life is going well, it’s easy to live like we’re not under a curse…but that’s not the case. As long as we live on this earth we are under the curse that the first humans put into motion. But there is hope because there is One who is able to break the curse.
A Special Baby
The gospel began in a broken and needy place, as Hutto reminds us. Jesus entered the world in a frail and fragile state; God sent his Son as a baby, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and placed in the womb of a young girl. Why would God choose this way to bring his Son into the world? Hutto tells us,
“For we know that in that same garden where Adam and Eve received the curse that led to the existence of tragedies like miscarriage, they also received a promise. It was the promise of a Serpent-Crusher. God, being rich in mercy and abounding in steadfast love, didn’t leave humanity without hope on that terrible day. He assured Adam and Eve that a man would be born into their world who would defeat the snake and reverse the curse (Gen. 3:15). He would be the second and better Adam—living in perfect obedience where the first had not, and then dying a death he wouldn’t deserve. He would be the perfect substitute for fallen men and women. He would bring life where once there was only death (1 Cor. 15:45).”
There is hope in death because of Jesus. Death has no sting for believers in Christ and children too young to believe.
A Hopeful Future
Death doesn’t get the last word, and suffering isn’t where our story ends even though it is what we deserve as those born under the curse. ...But God brought hope to the world through his Son's perfect life, sacrificial death, and everlasting resurrection. Jesus is the Light of the World, and he is preparing a place for believers and those already with him in heaven. Hutto expresses,
“There is hope for the woman who has miscarried since a baby was given to her more than 2,000 years ago. He lived for her, he died for her, and he will return for her. And on that final day he 'will wipe away every tear from [her] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things [will] have passed away' (Rev. 21:4).”
“So this is where the gospel relates to miscarriage, and this is where women can find joy in the midst of terrible anguish. 'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given...' (Isa. 9:6).”
You can read Hutto’s full article at The Gospel Coalition.
In her article, Trusting God through Miscarriage, Crosswalk.com Contributor Chelsea Sherman shares,
“Our world is so small. The things we can see in one lifetime are miniscule in comparison to what the God of the universe sees in one moment.
That doesn’t necessarily make it easier. It doesn’t make the pain go away. But it reminds us that this is not the end. It reminds us that there is an end to our toils and our tears. It reminds us that through it all, we are held in his love.
We are never promised an easy life–but we are promised that God will workeverything for our good, if we love him. Everything. Even our suffering and heartache. Even the loss of our unborn children. Everything. It’s a promise. And it’s a promise I’ll believe because, although I am not always given a reason why everything happens, I have never experienced an unfulfilled promise from my Savior. And so I will believe, and I will trust, and I will give praise.”
For Further Reading:
Liz Kanoy is an editor for Crosswalk.com.
Publication date: October 16, 2015